Union Hotel Mud Cake

Reputedly produced to great acclaim at the Union Hotel in Benicia, California, this is a dark rich moist cake, requiring no icing – just a hearty dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.


• 7 ounces (7squares in U.S.) unsweetened chocolate
• 12 tablespoons butter (1 ½ sticks or ¾ cup)
• 1 ½ cups strong coffee – Mokk-a Café France
• ¼ cup bourbon
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups cake flour
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 275 F

Grease and flour two 8 ½ inch X 4 ½ X 2 ½ inch loaf pans – or a single Bundt pan

Melt chocolate, butter and coffee in a heavy bottomed saucepan of about 4 quart capacity, over low heat and stir, almost continually, until the chocolate melts.

Stir vigorously to blend and smooth the mixture completely.

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes; then beat in the bourbon, eggs, and vanilla.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together.  Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, and whip it all around with vigor until it is smooth.

Divide the batter between the two pans or put it all in the Bundt pan, and bake for 50 minutes or until a straw from a broom comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes, then flip dexterously onto a cake plate.

Before serving the cake, place the cream and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip until the cream just barely stands in peaks.  It should be fluffy, but not stiff, and loose enough to run down the sides when you place a dollop on each wedge.